Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Barking Dog and the LoveSac

I thought that this would be an interesting story to share with anyone who reads this blog.

It was one of those rare summer evenings. Recent rainfall made the evening cooler than normal. The temperature was in the upper 70s instead of the lower 90s. There was a sweet summer breeze from the south. It wasn’t a cool breeze or a warm breeze—it was just right. The western sky glowed orange as the sun began descending behind the mountains. Purple clouds polk-a-dotted the sky from east to west.

I decided to go deliver flyers at an apartment complex nearby. As I walked toward the apartments I enjoyed the beautiful evening. The apartments looked a little different to me. The recent rainfall wasn’t the kind that made everything look clean again. Each drop passed through layers of pollution and dust in the air. Each drop made its target look dirty.

I’m not sure how many flyers I had delivered when I came to the top apartment of one of the buildings. A petite woman in her mid twenties opened her door before I reached the top of the stairs. She was wearing a white t-shirt and plaid pants—she was wearing pajamas. She had strawberry blond hair that was put up in a bun. She had freckles all over her face—the kind of freckles that only strawberry blonds can have. She reminded me of my 10 year old niece, or at least what she would look like in 10 years.

“I’m sorry, I don’t go to your church!” she yelled. She had one leg between the doorjamb and the door and one hand clearly holding the door shut. She occasionally tilted her head back toward the inside of the house. There was lots of noise coming from inside. She seemed tired and worn out. “This isn’t about church, it’s about a neighborhood BBQ!” I had hoped that my reply would keep her from shutting the door. She only paused to make sure she heard the entire sentence. Then the door slammed shut. I could still hear crying and talking coming through the nearby window trying to be heard over the TV.

“Don’t you want free hamburgers and hot dogs?”

Who wouldn’t? While it may take a few more seconds to read this and a few more minutes, this all happened in a few seconds. I realized and made the connection that this was a struggling single mother with lots of kids. This was someone who needed help. She never opened the door again, but I left a flyer at the door and hoped that she had heard about the free food.

Thinking about this, I walked pensively down the stairs and to the next building. The bottom floor apartments were half-basement. I walked down the half a flight of stairs to get to the door. I knocked. No one answered. I waited. No one answered. I left the flyer at the door and turned to go up the stairs. There was a problem.

At the top of the stairs there were two obstacles. On the right was a large dog. I hadn’t noticed its barking until I saw it. I hadn’t even heard it approach me.  It seemed like this dog was as skinny as a greyhound racing dog, but as large as an elephant. When it wasn’t barking, it was growling—showing what looked like more teeth than you would find on any shark. On the left was a giant bean bag or lovesac. It was black and had an indentation in it as if someone had been sitting there and recently gotten up.

This was another instance, much like the one above, where a million thoughts seemed to go through my mind within only half a second. How did these things get here so fast without me seeing them? Was someone moving? Why do dogs look like they are smiling when they growl? Was the dog sitting in the lovesac? What should I do?

I had three options. I could stay and wait for assistance and hope that the dog wouldn’t be brave enough to approach me. I could charge past the dog and get a scratch or two and later be chased by a dog who could run much faster than I could. Lastly, I could attempt to leap over the giant black bean bag in hopes that it would buy me a few seconds to get ahead of the hound. Just as quickly as these thoughts ran through my mind, I made my decision. I would try to clear the bean bag and run as fast as I could toward the first safe place I saw.

I really didn’t know what I was doing. I charged up the stairs and made a giant leap. “I cleared the lovesac!” I said to myself triumphantly. But, I was wrong. My right foot grazed the top and put me off balance. I rotated and began falling. My eyes were now looking back at the dog who didn’t seem so threatening this time around. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best.

I came crashing down and landed on my left side. I could feel a pounding in my left calf where it hit the ground. My left knee also hurt. I had a small pain in my back as if I had scraped it on something during the fall. What seemed like an eternity was only seconds. I no longer heard the dog barking or growling and I slowly opened my eyes. My heart was pounding and I thought it would leave my chest. I couldn’t see! Everything was black!

Through the darkness I heard a familiar voice say in a very worried tone, “Are you ok? What happened?”

A pink glow of light began to envelope me. Was I seeing light from the sunset? No. That wasn’t it. The light was very familiar.

Again, I heard the voice ask if I was ok. I recognized the voice! It was Alison! I looked in front of me to see my bed. My dresser was at my back.

Finally, it struck me—I fell out of my bed!

Seriously, who has such vivid dreams?

Even more seriously, what adult in his mid-thirties falls out of bed in the middle of the night?
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